Text by Harry Simon
It has been said that “clothes make the man.” But what about the man who makes the clothes that makes the man? What’s his story? Well, in the WWF’s case, he was a nervous little fella who talked like an unholy cross between Professor Frink from The Simpsons and every neurotic middle-aged guy in every Woody Allen movie ever made.
Fans, meet Needles The Tailor. See, he was a tailor, and thus, people called him “Needles” because needles are often used to tailor things when one is in the tailoring profession (which you would do with a needle). Needles’ political affiliation (namely, heel or babyface) was never made clear. It seemed like he was just another wacky weirdo following in the mold left by such flops as Jameson and “Superfans” George and Adam. Needles’ first (and last) appearance was part of the 1992 Coliseum Video release, 3rd Annual Battle Of The WWF Superstars. The obscure three-minute feature contained a trifecta of vignettes which chronicled a day in the life of he who was…
When we first met Needles, he was lurking around in a basement somewhere and bitching about his lousy life. Needles’ first appointment of the day was with The Undertaker and Paul Bearer, for the purpose of designing a new shroud for UT. One must respect Needles, as he found Taker quickly enough. Contrast that with Leslie Nielsen, who took a whole damn summer. Displeased by Needles’ various pitches of “scarlet red” and “royal blue,” UT strangled the pointless one and opted to stick with his beloved black.
As goofy “Fiddler On The Roof” type music assaulted our senses, we were then magically transported backstage, where Wrestlecrapper Rick “The Model” Martel was shooting a commercial for, uh, well actually, they never got around to telling us that part. But basically, Martel started cutting a promo only to throw a hissyfit when he discovered a tear in his jacket. But fear not, wrestling fans! Before you could finish saying “Don’t tailors usually remove a guy’s jacket before repairing it?” our man Needles was on the scene!
Just as it seemed like Needles had saved the day, he done went and accidentally stabbed Martel with a pin while finishing him off. How many hours does one have to spend painting a poorly-ventilated room before one’s brain comes up with the equation, “Tailor sticks guy with pin = Funny”? If there was a silver lining in this bit, it was that no one thought to have them do the obvious pun about Martel getting “pinned” by Needles. Anyway, Martel was justifiably upset by this turn of events, but Needles tried to make amends with a spare band-aid that he apparently keeps in his pocket at all times. Outraged at the suggestion that he should cover up part of his “great body” with a band-aid, Martel read Needles the riot act.
But every man has his breaking point. When he had all he could stands and he couldn’t stands no more, Needles stood up to the evil male model, bemoaning his “arrogance” twice in as many sentences. Naturally, this trigger word reminded Martel of the locked and loaded atomizer full of “Arrogance” in his hand. (“Arrogance” was Martel’s own personal brand of perfume, you see). Martel proceeded to spritz his stank all over Needles, whose last name really needed another “S” on the end.
The third and final skit saw Needles banter with The Mountie. As was the pattern for the day, this too ended in tears and pain.
But enough about me.
This time out, good ol’ Needles misaligned the velcro on the crooning lawman’s jacket. Next thing we knew, Needles was furtively working away at his sewing machine under the threat of torture by electrocution. Then the whole feature just ended cold.
Needles was never seen or heard from again. We can only assume that he was either eventually fired for his complete and total ineptitude as a tailor, or he filed a hostile work environment lawsuit against the WWF. It was for the best, though. You see, a year after this video came out, Vince McMahon was indicted on charges of allegedly distributing steroids to his wrestlers.
It’s just as well that he didn’t have a character named “Needles” running around.
Harry Simon is a trivia-fueled wisenheimer who has been writing about pro wrestling off and on for 16 years and counting. In addition to writing trivia columns for both the Wrestling Observer and Live Audio Wrestling websites, Harry has also written for Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and even contributed a ton of research to fellow Las Vegan Mike Tenay in preparation for the first NWA TNA PPV in 2002. Harry has also done play-by-play, color commentary, and ring announcing for indy promotions. Harry’s disturbingly popular column, Clustershmazz, appears at http://www.thewrestlingfan.com/clustershmazz.html.
(WARNING: Clustershmazz contains foul language and tasteless humor, and should not be handled by pregnant women.)